The food you eat is the fuel that nourishes your brain. A healthy diet helps to keep our brain fuelled for peak performance. Think of it like this- your brain works 24/7, even while you sleep, it regulates your entire nervous system and passes signals and instructions from one part of your body to the other.
The brain is responsible for almost every function in our body, this is why it’s very important to keep it in good shape. And since the brain is an energy-consuming organ (using around 20 percent of the body’s calories), it needs plenty of good fuel to maintain concentration throughout the day.
The brains best friends are Glucose and starches. Glucose is present in all carbohydrate foods such as grains, cereals and starchy vegetables like potatoes and spinach. But there are other essential micronutrients that are crucial for our brain to it’s fullest potential.
To help you create the perfect mind diet, here’s a list of the 8 best foods that will help your brain function at its best.
1. Leafy greens:
Kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli- there is an endless number of leafy greens that make for great brain-food. These contain essential antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients that support brain health and slow down cognitive decline. Green leafy vegetables are also the storehouse of lutein and folate, which reduce inflammation in the brain and fight the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
You can try adding a green salad to your diet at mealtime, or use a handful of greens when preparing a smoothie.
Turmeric is literally a standout when it comes to brain and mental health! Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, can decrease anxiety and change the brain chemistry, protecting the hippocampus. More than a thousand studies have revealed the benefits of curcumin, including it’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidants, blood sugar regulation, and anti-cancer activities.
Did you know that lamb has been linked to benefits such as better cognition and memory?
Lamb is a rich source of vitamins and minerals especially Vitamin B12 which important for blood formation and brain function.
According to a 2020 study published in the ‘Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease’, weekly consumption of lamb is associated with better long-term cognition and brain function. The 10-year study also noted considerable improvements in fluid intelligence scores in individuals who consumed lamb on a regular basis.
4. Dark chocolate:
If you have a sweet tooth, then here’s a great reason to include dark chocolate in your mind diet. With natural stimulants like caffeine and powerful antioxidants, dark chocolate helps not just improve your memory and focus but also your mood! The flavonoids in dark chocolate aid with learning and memory, while its antioxidants prevent cognitive decline and provide other brain related benefits.
Eggs are one of the most popular breakfast foods—and they have good reason to be so. They are easily accessible and inexpensive, and offer a host of health benefits, especially when it comes to brain health.
Packed with vitamin B-6, B-12, and folic acid, regular consumption of eggs can protect your brain from shrinking and aids healthy cognition. Additionally, the egg yolk is a great source of choline which is known for reducing inflammation, promoting brain function and better communication between brain cells.
Eggs are commonly served at breakfast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them at other mealtimes.
Try using eggs to make a savoury dinner scramble, or a creamy custard for dessert, and you’re good to go.
Nuts and seeds are a great addition to any diet regimen, but the one that contributes most to brain health is walnuts. In comparison to other nuts, walnuts offer twice as many antioxidants. They contain large amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that helps to counteract cognitive decline by suppressing inflammation and oxidative stress which have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Try adding a serving of walnuts to a hearty salad or just have them with your breakfast in the morning to kick-start your day with an active mind.
Peanuts are a power food with an excellent nutritional profile. They contain plenty of unsaturated proteins and fats to keep a person’s energy levels up throughout the day. Peanuts are packed with key vitamins and minerals including high levels of vitamin E and resveratrol to keep the brain healthy.
Resveratrol, a natural antioxidant found in peanuts, has immense protective effects on the body such as preventing cancers, inflammation, and neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Antioxidant-rich berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and mulberries provide numerous health benefits, including some that are specifically for your brain.
Several studies have revealed that the antioxidants present in berries can help improve communication between brain cells, Boost learning and delays cognitive decline (characterised by difficulty thinking, memorising, or concentrating as one ages) by increasing the brain’s plasticity.
The antioxidants present in them act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that can contribute to brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.
Try adding them to a smoothie, sprinkling them over your breakfast cereal or just enjoy it as is for a simple snack and observe the tremendous benefits it provides your brain!
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.